They drained nearly all of the remaining hours, forced Philadelphia to run out of all three timeouts and, when absolutely critical, ended things in the coldest way.
Kicking – literally – the eagles as they lay.
Dustin Hopkins scored 29 yards from the field in Sunday’s closing seconds to interrupt a dominant thrilling game in the Chargers’ 27-24 win that calmed the once chaotic Lincoln Financial field.
With that exclamation point, the Chargers ended a two-game losing streak to lead AFC West 5-3.
They won in Philadelphia with a 15-game streak that spanned 64 yards and used all but two seconds of the last 6:07 left before they got possession.
All Philadelphia’s attack could do was squirm aside as the guests squeezed out every opportunity that remained in the game.
“It demoralizes the team,” said Chargers receiver Keenan Allen. “It feels like we just took over. It was about what it was. … That’s when the games win. “
Offense prevailed, following scattered performances in a row in defeats to Baltimore and New England. Remember Justin Herbert’s fight? Forget Justin Herbert’s struggles.
The second-year quarterback finished 32 of 38 for 356 yards and two touchdowns without interceptions. Accuracy 84.2% – the best result in 23 starts in Herbert’s career.
He also rushed to the touchdown, as the Chargers’ earlier aggressive attack canceled their consecutive sluggish attempts to score five of seven total possessions against the Eagles.
This consistent production was emphasized and bold on the final drive. Herbert walked five out of seven, hitting different receivers at each dock for 39 yards. One of these flaws was deliberately thrown in to stop the clock.
Also, the Chargers have hit 32 yards seven times and converted a couple of fourths and ones. Austin Ekeler split the defense into a 16-yard dash to bring Hopkins closer.
Coach Brandon Staley called Sunday’s competition “a victory of the mind” and has repeatedly praised his attacking line. Herbert, who was not fired, officially struck once, just a week after the Patriots pressured him 17 times.
“Our offensive line had a very, very good football game,” Staley said. “It was a scrum style game and our offensive line was playing at a really, very high level.”
Chargers have also sometimes been successful in taking Herbert out of his pocket. He quickly released the ball. He and his receivers synchronized again after some stretching.
Herbert even contacted Mike Williams again, the pair tapping into a 49-yard win in the third quarter to create a touchdown that ended one of three draws in the game.
Williams ran over the back of an Eagles minor player and overtook three-time Pro Bow defender Darius Sly to secure Herbert’s rainbow.
“You can’t underestimate what a good shot this is,” Staley said, “because a mortal player doesn’t make it so easy.”
Regarding Williams’ contribution to the game, Staley said, “Mike got a really big gift when the ball is in the air in deep field to track him.”
The Chargers’ offense has so completely opened up its rhythm that player Ty Long never had to do anything but hold on to the spot. Twice the Chargers failed to score while in full possession; they turned the ball over on the downs.
Herbert’s two touchdown passes went to backup dead-end players Stephen Anderson and Donald Parham. Anderson didn’t score for the Chargers until Sunday. Parham used his 6’8 ” to break into the scoring area.
“This guy has some of that basketball magic that makes people bored,” Staley said.
The head coach cited the playing calling of offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi and the Chargers’ ability to throw the Eagles defenders off balance, especially in last gear.
He said that Herbert beat Allen early and often helped establish a rhythm for offense and defender, a rhythm that has been lacking lately. Herbert targeted Allen five times – four times – in the introductory series of Chargers.
“The pieces we used were just our basic combination,” Allen said. “So, anytime we can hit them and give Justin a feel for the game, everyone will be comfortable, everyone will be comfortable.”
Allen completed 12 receptions at 104 yards, his 30th game at 100 yards of his career.
“Keenan’s reputation is ahead of him in this league because it’s well earned,” Staley said. “It is deserved. People know this guy has real things real things.”
Allen demonstrated this Sunday, as did Herbert, when the Chargers flew across the country and – with one last engine blow – kept the Eagles helpless.